Nobody Wants a ‘Spaceballs 2’ Without Rick Moranis

The Schwartz won’t be with this movie if it can’t get Dark Helmet back
Nobody Wants a ‘Spaceballs 2’ Without Rick Moranis

Fulfilling a decades-old prophecy — and by prophecy, I mean a throwaway joke that was clearly never meant to be taken seriously — Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs is finally getting a sequel. Whether or not it’s actually going to be called Spaceballs II: The Search for More Money remains to be seen.

Last week, Josh Gad posted images of a heavily-redacted screenplay on Instagram, indicating that he was working on a mystery movie that would be “Based on Characters Created by Mel” somebody, and opens with the scene heading “EXT. STAR FIELD.” Fans quickly deduced that Gad’s script was for a sequel to Spaceballs. It was either that or a Passion of the Christ spin-off set in the distant future.

It’s now been officially confirmed that a Spaceballs follow-up is in development at Amazon MGM. The belated continuation of the 1987 Star Wars spoof will star Gad, who also co-wrote the script. Brooks will co-produce the film along with Gad, and it’s to be directed by Josh Greenbaum, who helmed recent comedies like Strays and Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar.

Right after the project was announced, the great Rick Moranis’ name began trending online, owing to the fact that a lot of fans don’t want a Spaceballs sequel if it doesn’t feature Dark Helmet.

And while not everybody will be thrilled with the news that this beloved property is now in the hands of Olaf the talking snowman, Gad may be uniquely positioned to bring the original (living) cast members back together. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that Gad was announced as the star of another ‘80s Rick Moranis comedy reboot: the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids legacy-sequel Shrunk.

While Shrunk ultimately fell apart, it was the rare project to land Moranis, who famously stepped back from taking live-action roles decades ago, but agreed to reprise his role of wacky inventor/dangerous psychopath Wayne Szalinski. Not even the makers of the new Ghostbusters movies have been able to lure Moranis back.

In addition to sharing a connection with Moranis, Gad previously worked with Lone Star himself: Bill Pullman. Gad played the idiot son to Pullman’s non-alien-fighting president in the mostly-forgotten sitcom 1600 Penn.

Of course, it could be argued that any continuation of Spaceballs is just an innately bad idea. The best evidence for this is probably the short-lived 2008 cartoon, which was created by Brooks, and served as a sequel of sorts. But the G4 series quickly devolved into a lazy parody of non-Star Wars franchises like Harry Potter and American Idol. 

But one intriguing aspect of this new movie is its team of writers, which, in addition to Gad, includes Benji Samit and Dan Hernandez who co-wrote the delightful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and the upcoming LEGO Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy, a comedic spin on the franchise featuring badass Ewoks and Darth Jar Jar.

So clearly the writers have a deep appreciation, not just for Spaceballs, but for Star Wars. And there’s a lot more Star Wars content to parody in 2024 than there was back in ‘87.

Hopefully the new movie will lead Brooks to break his “no merchandising” agreement with George Lucas, and we can finally get our hands on some Spaceballs-branded flamethrowers. 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).


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